With temperatures beginning to drop, chilly Friday nights of high school football are just around the corner. It's a sad time for The Fumbler, a fan of warm weather who spent two weeks of his summer in steamy Las Vegas for the Prognosticating Olympics.
The IPOC (International Prognosticating Olympic Committee) organizes a yearly event that brings together the best prognosticators from around the world to give their predictions on a wide variety of subjects, such as: Who will win the Belarus presidential election? Will the Spice Girls follow through with plans for a reunion tour? And will Clairton win its fourth state title in a row?
The Fumbler, considered by many to be the Usain Bolt of prognosticating, was confident he'd win yet another title. But that was until he had one too many complimentary Shirley Temples at Caesars Palace the night of the opening ceremonies. The Fumbler never recovered. He went on to finish third behind a woman from Wales and a gentleman from Grenada.
Now in the right frame of mind, The Fumbler is once again showing why he will always be the champion of predicting WPIAL and City League football games. After picking 75 percent of the games correctly the first week, The Fumbler improved that number to 78 percent last week by going 53-15. That brings his season total to 104-32 (.764).
Here are his thoughts on this weekend's top games:
Seneca Valley (2-0, 2-0) at North Allegheny (2-0, 1-0), tonight at 7:30 -- It's been a great start to the season for the Leftwich family. Mack, North Allegheny's quarterback, leads the WPIAL in passing. His father, Spencer, is an assistant coach at the University of Arizona, which is 2-0 after hanging 59 points on No. 18 Oklahoma State last Saturday. Both of these teams also have high-powered offenses, but The Fumbler thinks the Tigers have better lines and a superior defense. Winner: North Allegheny.
Upper St. Clair (2-0, 2-0) at Peters Township (2-0, 2-0), tonight at 7:30 -- Peters Township and running back Mike Minjock (six touchdowns) have looked good early on, but here comes an Upper St. Clair team that has beaten the Indians four years in a row. USC's Pete Coughlin ran for three touchdowns Week 1 and passed for three scores Week 2. Winner: Upper St. Clair.
Steel Valley (2-0, 2-0) at South Fayette (2-0, 2-0), tonight at 7 -- There's a place on Route 50 named Burgh's Pizza and Wing Pub where South Fayette fans have been known to frequent after games. The Fumbler has also been to Burgh's, and loves their deep-dish pizza. It just so happens that South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh has a deep group of receivers to dish the ball to. Hmm. Winner: South Fayette.
Allderdice (1-1, 0-0) vs. Perry (1-1, 0-0) (at Cupples Stadium), tonight at 7 -- Many people will flock to the area around Cupples Stadium this evening when they get out of work, right around the time Allderdice's Patrick Ferguson is on the field showing why he is a workhorse running back. In a battle of the top two teams in the City League, the Dragons will enter and exit the South Side ranked No. 1. Winner: Allderdice.
And the rest (home teams in capital letters):
CITY LEAGUE -- UNIVERSITY PREP over Carrick.
WPIAL CLASS AAAA -- (Foothills Conference) PENN-TRAFFORD over Altoona; Gateway over KISKI AREA; Hempfield over CONNELLSVILLE; McKEESPORT over Norwin. (Northern Eight) BUTLER over Pine-Richland; NORTH HILLS over Shaler. (Southeastern) WOODLAND HILLS over Bethel Park; MT. LEBANON over Plum.
WPIAL CLASS AAA -- (Big Nine) TRINITY over Albert Gallatin; RINGGOLD over Belle Vernon; Elizabeth Forward over LAUREL HIGHLANDS; WEST MIFFLIN over Uniontown. (Greater Allegheny) Franklin Regional over HIGHLANDS; GREENSBURG SALEM over Hampton; Knoch over DERRY; Mars over INDIANA. (Parkway) NEW CASTLE over Ambridge; Blackhawk over HOPEWELL; CENTRAL VALLEY over Chartiers Valley; West Allegheny over MOON.
WPIAL CLASS AA -- (Allegheny) FREEPORT over Deer Lakes; FORD CITY over East Allegheny; SHADY SIDE ACADEMY over Valley. (Century) SOUTH PARK over Burgettstown; SETON-LaSALLE over Keystone Oaks; QUAKER VALLEY over McGuffey. (Interstate) WASHINGTON over Charleroi; MOUNT PLEASANT over Southmoreland; Waynesburg over BROWNSVILLE; JEANNETTE over Yough. (Midwestern) Beaver over FREEDOM; BEAVER FALLS over Ellwood City; ALIQUIPPA over Riverside.
WPIAL CLASS A -- (Big Seven) LAUREL over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart; Rochester over UNION; Shenango over SOUTH SIDE BEAVER; Sto-Rox over NESHANNOCK. (Black Hills) CLAIRTON over California; BISHOP CANEVIN over Carlynton; Monessen over FORT CHERRY; CHARTIERS-HOUSTON over Serra Catholic. (Eastern) AVONWORTH over Leechburg; NORTH CATHOLIC over Northgate; Riverview over WEST SHAMOKIN. (Tri-County South) FRAZIER over Bentworth; BETH-CENTER over Carmichaels; AVELLA over Mapletown; JEFFERSON-MORGAN over West Greene.
NON-CONFERENCE -- CENTRAL CATHOLIC over Canon-McMillan; Fox Chapel over LATROBE; Greensburg Central Catholic over KITTANNING; THOMAS JEFFERSON over Hollidaysburg; MONTOUR over Mohawk; New Brighton over SOUTH ALLEGHENY.
WPIAL CLASS AA -- (Allegheny) Burrell over SUMMIT ACADEMY.
WPIAL CLASS A -- (Black Hills) Brentwood over IMANI CHRISTIAN; (Eastern) Springdale over WILKINSBURG.
NON-CONFERENCE -- Apollo-Ridge over WESTERN BEAVER; KISKI SCHOOL over Episcopal Academy; Vincentian over GEIBEL CATHOLIC.